Luongo vs. Schneider Debacle In Vancouver

    Remember two playoffs ago (yes now two) when Vancouver was playing Boston in the Cup finals? Luongo struggled, Schneider played decent, Luongo was labeled as a thing of the past and Schneider was the up and comer. Fast forward 2 years now. Both goalies are still on the team and both were doing alright. Trade deadline comes and goes and Vancouver misses a big opportunity to deal Luongo. 1st round comes along and Vingneaut announces Schneider as the starter, which is not a big deal. This has to mean that Luongo will be dealt in the offseason right? That maybe not the case.

    I was almost disgusted to read that GM Mike Gillis was taking offers for Schneider and that there was a possibility of trading him. Being a goalie myself, I would lose so much respect for Gilis and the Canucks if they end up trading Schneider and keeping Luongo. Luongo has been nothing but professional through this whole thing and I has been made pretty clear that he wants a fresh start somewhere. It would be a slap to Luongo’s face to keep him around.Image 

     I realize due to Luongo’s contract that it might make it tough to deal him and that Vancouver may get a better deal trading Schneider. After all, Luongo is still a pretty damn good goalie to keep around (and so is Schneider). But due to the history of the goalie controversy, the fact that Luongo has been on the trading block for a couple of years now (exaggerating), and Luongo’s desire to leave I think that Gillis and the Canucks should just trade him already!

Thanks for reading. I just needed to vent on this topic. Really unfair for Luongo!

 

2013 NHL Draft-Goaltenders

       Goaltending wins championships and teams live and die by their goaltender so here are my opinions on some of the draft eligible goalies for tomorrows draft.

Spencer Martin- Mississauga Steelheads- Martin is the 5th ranked goalie in North America by CSS. I have watched him play numerous times and believe he can be a mid round steal. Struggled a bit this year for a bad Steelheads team but I believe has the tools to be a top goalie.

Zach Fucale- Halifax Moosheads- No doubt in my mind the top goalie of the draft. Calm, cool, collected and focused under pressure. Fucale put up outstanding numbers playing alongside Mackinnon and Drouin as well as winning the Memorial Cup. See him going late 1st to early second round.

Jusse Saros- Finland- Seen him play a couple of times in the U18 tournament (on Youtube). Very small goaltender at 5’9 by NHL standards. Really quick movement, and plays big. Top prospect at the junior level but will be interesting to see how he will do in the North American pro game. Will be a top 3 round pick.

Phillipe Desrosiers- Rimouski Oceanic- Was the starter on the gold medal winning Canadian U18 team. Played outstanding in that tournament. Ranked 7th out of North American goalies. Personal favourite.

Some teams that could take goalies early include Edmonton, New Jersey and Calgary. Also Montreal could pick 2nd ranked goalie Eric Comrie who play for the Tri-City Americans. Last goalie Montreal picked from Tri-City? Carey Price.

Just my opinions, hope you enjoyed.

NHL Mock Draft 2013

       We may already know who the top two picks will be and maybe even the top pick is but what I find interesting about this draft is that from picks 3-10 are unpredictable. Right now Mackinnon seems to be the number 1 guy with Seth Jones following very close behind him. In the 3-5 spots there is Jonathon Drouin, Aleksander Barkov, Darnell Nurse and Valeri Nichushkin. Some players that can sneak into the top 5 as well as round out the top 10 are players like Sean Monahan, Hunter Shinkaruk, Ryan Pulock, Max Domi, Rasmus Ristoleinan and Nikita Zadorov. Everyone has to keep in mind the possibility of trades to happen as Colorado is still listening to calls and will maybe take the right deal. The following is how I see the draft playing out based on what I’ve seen and read about these players over the course of the year. Will it be accurate? Definitely not, but here it is for your enjoyment.

 

Here is my top 10:

 

1. Colorado Avalanche- Nathan Mackinnon-Halifax Mooseheads-F- New GM Patrick Roy and Joe Sakic have been very public in saying the they are looking at a forward and that Mackinnon is one of the top candidates. Right now he is best forward in the draft. Quick, skilled, will eventually fit right in along with youngsters as Matt Duchene and Ryan O’Reilly.

 

2. Florida Panthers- Seth Jones-Portland Winterhawks-D- Best D in this year’s draft. Had a very good World Junior Championships followed by a sub-par Memorial Cup but I feel that he and Mackinnon can easily be flipped. Big, tough and smart, Jones would simply be the best available player at number 2. Would compliment Florida core of youngs forwards such as Calder Trophy winner Jonathon Huberdeau.

 

3. Tampa Bay Lightning- Alexsander Barkov-Finland-F- This was a tough pick for me as I don’t know too much about Barkov and Jonathon Drouin being another worthy candidate but I don’t feel Drouin will be a good fit amidst Stamkos and an aging St.Louis. Barkov was voted the most complete player in the draft by NHL scouts via. Bob Mackenzie.

 

4. Nashville Predators- Jonathon Drouin-Halifax Mossheads-F- Would simply be the best player available at number 4. Voted by far the best playmaker and has the best hockey sense in the draft as well as puck handling. Beat both Mackinnon and Jones for CHL player of the year.

 

5. Carolina Hurricanes- Darnell Nurse-Sault Ste.Marie-D I can see Carolina picking a D as that was one of their biggest weak points last year. Big, smart and athletic; Nurse can be in the Canes lineup as early as next year.

 

6. Calgary Flames- Valeri Nichushkin-Russia-F Don’t know much about Nichushkin. Voted as one of the top wild-cards of the draft. Big body, tough, likes to hang around the net.

 

7. Edmonton Oilers- Rasmus Ristolainan-Finland-D After three consecutive 1st overall picks, all of whom were forwards, I would like to see them take a D. However, I am not convinced they will. Ristolainan is a big two-way defender who would fit nicely alongside Justin Schultz on the Oilers back end.

 

8. Buffalo Sabres- Sean Monahan-Ottawa 67’s-F- Monahan can do it all; on the powerplay, penalty kill, very strong on faceoffs and he puts up numbers as well. Monahan, playing on a last place team, still managed to put up 78 points in 58 games this year and can be a future leader on the Sabres. Would fit nicely alongside Cody Hodgson.

 

9. New Jersey Devils- Hunter Shinkaruk-Medicine Hat Tigers-F- Skilled, smart and explosive are some words used to describe Shinkaruk. Has the potential to score highlight reel goals, Shinkaruk would be a solid replacement for recently departed Zach Parise.

 

10. Dallas Stars- Nikita Zadorov-London Knights-D The Stars are in need of a defenseman and Zadorov could be there guy. Big 6’5 body, strong, physical and competes. Will add toughness to the Stars lineup. 

Kurtis Foster to Coach OHL Petes?

Earlier today the Peterborough Petes relieved assistant coach Wayne Clark of his duties after his 3 year contract expired. With the new vacancy on the Petes bench and an aging Foster being put on waivers last week by the Flyers, I can only speculate that head coach Jody Hull and GM Mike Oke will be pushing for Foster to be behind the Petes’ bench for the 2013-2014 season.

Foster, originally from Carp Ontario, played 5 seasons for the Petes before being drafted 40th overall in 2000 by the Calgary Flames. He has spent time in Atlanta, Minnesota, Tampa, Anaheim, Edmonton and New Jersey before signing with Philadelphia earlier in the season. Foster is now 31 and may have trouble finding a team in the near future. Foster resides in Peterborough during the summer and has ties with the community. He recently helped out in the Petes training camp alongside other Petes alumni. 

The Petes had a season mixed with emotions having a nightmare start turn to nearly having a cinderella playoff run; only to lose out on the last day of the regular season. This years version of management saw a major overhaul as both GM Dave Reid and head coach Mike Pelino were both relieved of their duties with the team.There were also some major changes with the Petes board of directors as two stepped down (one being current GM Mike Oke’s father) while they added three new, younger faces from the community. 

Current head coach Jody Hull stated in an interview today with the Peterborough Examiner’s Mike Davies, “I’d like to pursue the idea of having a former defenceman on my staff. It would have to be within the context of what I want to see in a person and how he coaches. We’ll explore those avenues and see if there is a fit. If not, then we’ll move forward in another direction.”

Other sources close to the team have said that the Petes have contacted Foster about the possibility of bring him on as the defensive coach for next season.

Foster would be able to work with potential first round pick Matt Spencer from the Oakville Rangers. The Petes have the third overall pick and may elect to go with a defenceman after choosing forwards with their first four picks of the 2012 draft. Petes may choose otherwise depending on what Ottawa and Erie do with their picks. Ottawa has been favouring Elgin Middlesex Chiefs forward Travis Konecy while Erie is said to be highly interested in Toronto Marlies forward Dylan Strome. This leaves the Petes with the difficult choice of choosing Spencer or 15 year old Sean Day who was granted exceptional status by Hockey Canada earlier in May. All indications are pointing towards the Petes picking Spencer over Day. Spencer was recently in Peterborough meeting the coaches and staff.

Draft talk aside, it would be nice to Foster behind the Petes bench for next season. I think he can add to the new look of the Petes and bring in some very recent NHL experience. Foster would join Hull and Petes alumni and long time pro Andrew Verner on a very experience ocahing staff. The 2013-2014 season looks positive for the Petes with many new changes and a very strong finish to the 2012-2013 season.